Sage has been used in Europe for centuries as a spice and a medicine. There are many different species of sage, with some reports describing over 500 species. Salvia officinalis and Salvia lavandulaefolia/Salvia lavandulifolia are two species covered in this monograph; both are used interchangeably in commerce. However, Salvia officinalis is more commonly used medicinally, horticulturally, and commercially and although Salvia lavandulifolia is a related species, it is unclear whether the actions of S. officinalis and S. lavandulifolia are interchangeable.
Sage is a popular European treatment for inflammations of the mouth and throat, upset stomach) and excessive sweating, in addition to other uses. An extract of sage (Salvia libanotica) native to the Mediterranean region has been noted as a popular plant remedy used by Middle Eastern people as a soporific and antimicrobial and to treat colds, influenza, abdominal pain, headaches, heart disorders, and gall stones. Sage has a long history of use against inflammation of the oral cavity and throat when used as a mouthwash or gargle, especially in Europe.
The strongest evidence for the use of sage comes from clinical trials conducted with sage for Alzheimer's disease, menopausal discomfort, pharyngitis, herpes infections, and to improve mood, cognition, and memory. Potential uses of sage include decreasing menopausal symptoms and for lung cancer prevention.
Black sage, broad-leafed sage, common sage, dalmation sage, East Mediterranean sage, edelsalbei, feuilles de sauge (French), garden sage, gartensalbei, Greek sage, Herba salviae, kitchen sage, Labiatae (former family name), Lamiaceae (family), meadow sage, Newe Ya'ar No. 4, oleoresin sage, quinines, red sage, royleanones, salbeiblatter, Salvia fruticosa, Salvia hispanorum Lag., Salvia lavandulaefolia, Salvia lavandulaefolia Vahl., Salvia lavandulifolia, Salvia lavandulifolia Vahl., Salvia libanotica, Salvia mellifera, Salvia officinalis, Salvia officinalis L. "Desislava," Salvia officinalis var. purpurea, Salvia officinalis x Salvia fruticosa, Salvia reflexa Hornem., Salvia triloba, Salvin, sawge, scarlet sage, Spanish sage, true sage.
Note: This monograph does not contain information on clary sage (Salvia sclarea), red or Chinese sage (danshen or Salvia miltiorrhiza), prairie sage (Artemisia ludoviciana), white sage (Salvia apiana), or Jerusalem sage (Phlomis fruticosa).
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Sage has long been suggested to improve memory. Several trials provide evidence for the use of sage. Additional study is needed to confirm these findings and determine the best dose.
Sage has long been suggested to improve mood. Several trials provide evidence for the use of sage. Additional study is needed to confirm these findings and determine the best dose.
Sage mouthwashes and gargles have been approved for use against sore throat in Germany by the German Commission E for many years. Additional study is needed comparing sage to standard therapies.
Alzheimer's disease is characterized by memory loss that interferes with social and occupational functioning. Early evidence suggests that sage oil may be useful in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
Early evidence suggests that sage extracts may be useful in the treatment of herpes skin manifestations.
Sage has been tested against menopausal symptoms with promising results.
Lung cancer prevention
Sage used daily as a spice in foods has been associated with a lower risk of lung cancer in the Mediterranean diet.